HbA1c: what is the normal level of glycated hemoglobin?

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Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c): what are we talking about exactly?

Before explaining what glycated hemoglobin is, we must make a detour to the side of the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that circulate in the blood. His role ? It is essential: it is hemoglobin which transports (and releases) oxygen molecules throughout the body to allow the functioning of the various organs – the brain, the heart …

The glucose, meanwhile, is the main “fuel” of the body: this molecule (mainly derived from the sugar provided by the diet) binds irreversibly to hemoglobin and gradually accumulates in red blood cells – that l also called “red blood cells” or “erythrocytes” in medical parlance. “ We can say that sugar “parasitizes” hemoglobin since it modifies its physicochemical properties., explains Pierre Zachary, biologist. When the glucose binds to hemoglobin, this formsglycated hemoglobin or HbA1c. “

In a healthy person, glucose binds only in small amounts to hemoglobin: “ everyone has a small percentage of glycated hemoglobin in their blood, it’s okay “specifies the specialist.

On the other hand, in a diabetic person, the blood level of glycated hemoglobin (expressed as a percentage) is significantly higher because, as explained by the French Federation of Diabetics (FFD), ” more the blood sugar is high, the greater the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin “Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia.

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c): what are the normal values? In a healthy person, a “normal” glycated hemoglobin level in the blood is between 4% and 6%.

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Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c): a tool for monitoring diabetes

To know. The measurement of glycated hemoglobin (HBA1c) is done in the laboratory or in the hospital: a blood test is sufficient, without special precautions – it is not necessary to be on an empty stomach. It should be noted that this medical examination is not part of the “routine assessment” carried out in the laboratory: it is specifically prescribed for patients suffering from diabetes – type 1 or type 2.

While glycemia (that is to say: the measurement of the glucose concentration in the blood, which can be done independently at home using a blood glucose meter or glucometer) corresponds to a ” instantaneous “of the glycemic state of the diabetic patient, the measurement of glycated hemoglobin makes it possible to evaluate his glycemic balance over a longer period (approximately two to three months). Thus, the measurement of HbA1c constitutes a good “tool for monitoring” diabetes.

To know. At the start of treatment, in a patient who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, glycated hemoglobin will be measured every 3 months using a blood test – because the red blood cells that contain hemoglobin have a lifespan of approximately 120 days.

Depending on the results obtained, the ” the doctor will consider therapeutic adaptations (reinforcement of hygieno-dietetic measures, adaptation of drug treatment, etc.) if necessary “develops the French Federation of Diabetics (FFD).

Type 1 or type 2 diabetes: values ​​for glycated hemoglobin and blood sugar

Generally, diabetes is considered balanced if the HbA1c level is less than or equal to 7%. Beyond that, the risk of developing long-term complications (nephropathy, retinopathy, cardiovascular diseases, polyneuritis, etc.) increases “specifies the French Federation of Diabetics (FFD).

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In detail and according to the recommendations of the French National ity for Health (HAS): in the case of type 2 diabetes, the objective is to fall below the threshold of 7% glycated hemoglobin (HbAc1); in type 1 diabetes, the goal is to go below 7.5%. These values ​​may however vary depending on the patient’s age, the existence of diabetic complications and / or associated diseases (arterial hypertension, obesity, etc.): they must therefore be determined in consultation with the doctor.

Side numbers … Thus, a blood level of glycated hemoglobin of 7% corresponds to an average blood sugar level of 1.5 grams of glucose per liter of blood: 1% more HbA1c represents an average increase in blood sugar of 0.30 g / l .

Thanks to Pierre Zachary, biologist at Biogroup in Strasbourg (67).


Source : French Federation of Diabetics (FFD)

Source :www.femmeactuelle.fr


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